Vlaams Belang member leaves far-right party after racist Tinder messages emerge
Wednesday, 28 August 2019
A member of the far-right Vlaams Belang (VB) left the party after private messages shared online revealed a slew of offensive and racist remarks.
An 18-year-old who matched with VB member Thomas Lomelino on dating app Tinder said she was considering filing a complaint after she was left shocked by an exchange with Lomelino, of which she shared images on social media.
The woman, identified as Louise, said Lomelino had asked her: “How’s your pet doing?” in what he later explained to her was a reference to a picture of her with a black friend.
In another message, she said Lomelino wrote: “Unfortunately I don’t have enough money to buy a Negro.”
The far-right party’s national chairman Tom Van Grieken confirmed on Tuesday that Lomelino had left the party as well as his position in the local board of the Flemish town of Mechelen amid the revelations, according to local media.
Photos put up on social media by Louise show the exchange between both parties in Dutch, which quickly turns sour when the woman calls out Lomelino for his remarks.
“Look, I don’t care what you say, because a woman is an object and has no opinion,” Lomelino wrote, after claiming he comes from Adam and Eve and that he “went to Brazil to help Negroes,” according to reports of the exchange.
“We definitely distance ourselves from this,” president of the VB Mechelen Kim Brooks told Belgian media, adding that their department was “the most multi-ethnic” of all and that all but one of the local party’s board members were women.
Responding to the backlash, party chairman Van Grieken said: “Thomas’ statements are stupid and totally unacceptable, but he is sorry,” adding that Lomelino had written them while “in a drunken mood.”